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Winter Rigatoni

March 2, 2017

Making pasta is the labor of love I hold dearest in the kitchen. I find joy in making a mess of flour and eggs on my board, strength in kneading the dough until it’s soft and developed, focus in rolling out the sheets, and magic in creating the shapes. So much less about the end product, making pasta is about the humble culinary journey; like anything made from grains, pasta is ultimately a vehicle for its accoutrements, so creativity in sauces and shapes abound and you never run out of things to learn.

Despite my romantic waxings, pasta is a thing that I rarely eat. I like to fill my tum with things that will fuel me well, and I’m no marathoner (despite my best efforts to find the elusive runners high…two halves later and I’m still pretty sure y’all are just makin’ shit up). When I do make pasta I make it colorful, keep the sauce light (alfredo is a G but our philosophies don’t mix),ensure that I have people to share it with, and hunt down a solid bottle of wine for the occasion.

My brother hooked ya girl up with a pasta extruder for Christmas and I’ve been chomping at the bit to try it while waiting for inspiration to strike. For whatever reason, I never want to christen a kitchen tool with a mundane task, so I’ve been mulling over a rigatoni dish for a spell, channeling my pasta-punk friend Shane Thomas’ flow, dreaming up something wintry that won’t send guests clamoring for a spot on the couch. If you’ve already got a kitchenaid and the extruder attachment, good on you and definitely give this dish a go!  If you don’t, aint no shame in that boxed game, but sign up for a pasta class in your area (aka call me if you’re reppin’ that NY Metro life), and discover how meditative the art of pasta is, and how satisfying the result.  I promise you it’s better than a green juice after yoga, and I’ll happily coordinate a spin-date with you the morning after!

 

[recipe id=”806″]

Uncategorized

Curried Cauliflower & Coconut Bisque.

February 20, 2017

Some nights are made for rummaging. In my experience, rummaging yields something I’m more pleased with than if I’d had first pick at the farmers market, likely because the marriage of creativity and resourcefulness reminds me that doing what I do well is a lot more about thought and technique than it is supplies. When I interned in NYC one summer my oldest friends and I would play “pot chef”, in which everyone had to get viciously stoned and then rummage through the pantry to come up with the best dish they could muster. Sometimes a disaster (see: trying to drain pasta with the lid rather than a colander), it was nonetheless always a riot, and frankly we were probably too high to still possess the necessary discerning faculties to tell what was good vs. absurd albeit edible.

Regardless, tonight was one of those nights thanks to a wintry mix that has left my whip staring pitifully out at me from under a shell of ice. Not one to settle for a PB&J, I got to foraging in the fridge, the resulting blended soup leaving me happy enough to quickly jot down what I did with my fridge-foraging finds.

Curry Roasted Cauliflower soup 2

Curry Roasted Cauliflower soup 3

 

[recipe id=”800″]

Lunch, Mains, Salads, Uncategorized

Roasted Winter Salad.

February 16, 2017

After entering a new decade of life at what felt slightly faster than the speed reached at the event horizon, and a whirlwind holiday season capped off with a planned-but-not-so-soon move, YA GIRL IS BACK ON THAT BEAST COAST!  It was not without it’s turmoil, least of which was needing four locals (one of which had only two teeth), to help my front wheel drivin’, snow-virgin of a car up a tundra-whippin,’ iced over hill a mere 50 miles from my destination. Now that I’m semi-settled, I am at once thrilled and terrified, comfortable and yet out-of-water, and OHHHHH SO READY to rejoin the ranks of my NYC-based tribe, though I’ll be hanging this side of the Hudson until I can plant my roots deeeeeep in the soils of it’s valley.

Leaving the land of perpetual spring has my palette a bit confused, however. In the Bay I tended towards brighter flavors that us northerners look forward to in the warmer months; it was never too cold for them and the scene abounded. Now that I’m back in thick sock and bean boot country, I’m feelin’ those hearty, earthy flavors that warm you from the inside. Thus, when an impromptu dinner party arose along the trek, I dreamt up a salad that suited.

The resulting Roasted Winter Salad is warm, smoky and satisfying, great as a stand-alone lunch, a dinner side, or a dinner salad if you added a protein (I’d go with flank steak or a tempeh-portabello mix for my vegans).

Roasted Winter Salad

[recipe id=”708″]

Uncategorized

Curry Roasted Vegetable Soup with Rosemary Dutch Oven Bread.

October 1, 2015

Today marks the beginning of my favorite month of the year, and also the month that I miss my best homegirl, the northeast, the absolute most. My brain kicks into a peculiar strobe-mode this time of year, where orchards, breath on the air, bean boots in mud, barbours on fleek, and fields bordered by bright orange trees are flashing on a constant rotation in my head. I very literally ache for my hometown, my uncles apple cider, and upstate farm stands packed to the gills with gourds, apples and mums.  But, I am here and I have to make the best of that by keeping busy, changing out flowers for wheat in my vases, and scouring Netflix and iTunes for moody, overcast flicks while I wait to visit the moody, overcast destination of Seattle with Babs mid-month.

One of the ways I distracted myself was by hosting a friendsgiving picnic with Edible magazine last Sunday, for which I finally wrote down the recipe for my curry roasted vegetable soup.  I’ve been making it for years, but it’s always been whatever I remembered it as.  I guess, on a day I was craving a hearty bowl of soup, I wasn’t feelin’ the recording of precise measurements.  BUT, Edible is all about them precise measurements, and I can’t just tell you guys to “throw this shit in a pot and make it happen”, so here she is, in all her warmth and comfort, with a toothy, dunkable bread recipe borrowed and adapted from my blog idol, Local Milk.  Serve this up for a few friends in a cozy nook on a drizzly day; it’s easy enough to take your time making on a slow morning when you can’t quite get out of those flannel pajamas just yet (or ever? It’s your house, live your pajama truth, just have backups ready for your girls).

 

Dutch Oven Bread

Unblended soup #2

Curry Roasted Vegetable Soup

 

[recipe id=”461″]

Uncategorized

FACT: I write for things other than this blog.

August 18, 2015

FACT:  I write for things other than this blog. Most recently, for Edible East Bay.

My article on sustainable protein sources and consumption was just published on their website, and I’d LOVE if you guys checked it out to learn about a very real issue. It’s shocking, but entertaining, and THE MORE YOU KNOW, RIGHT!?

It’s accompanied by a new recipe of mine (for which you can easily swap the flour out for whatever you prefer), to use up that zucchini you’ve been giving the side eye to whenever you opened your crisper drawer like “YOU’RE SMOTHERING ME AND I NEED MY SPACE SO JUST COOL IT IN HERE UNTIL I FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH YOU”.

CLICK IT FOR CRICKET.

Uncategorized

On Accomplishments and Diane Keaton.

August 18, 2015

I recently catered my first wedding.  File that sentence under: things I never thought I’d say about my culinary career.  As someone who is determined to find success in a field notorious for rejecting any conventional concept of the weekend, while fiercely protecting her own, catering was an obviously unwise path. Catering IS weekends, yo!  That said, my career thus far has been largely guided by saying yes to all of the challenges (read: opportunities) that fell at my feet.

Thus, when I happened upon an article in the New York Times about a genuinely revolutionary food startup based in Berkeley, and subsequently reached out to its owner who could have extremely easily not give a damn about me, soon after starting working for her, I was AMPED.  I said yes to everything.  Yes to gigantic production runs in small kitchens, yes to testing and developing recipes for their flour, yes to carting the product an hour into the suburban sprawl that houses the shipping facility, yes to chatting up an endless sea of buyers at Natural Foods Expo West, and, when she got engaged, yes to catering her wedding.

I didn’t think very much before that last yes.  It was knee-jerk; that was what I was used to saying to her proposals for me.  Afterwards, I was TERRIFIED at THE PROPOSAL POST-PROPOSAL that I had just committed to. I’d worked hard to demonstrate the reliability of my support and the consistency of my work to her. If I failed to sustain that level of performance on the most important day of her life, all of that accrued trust could fly out the window, and I’d likely never live down my own disappointment in myself.

Without boring you with a drawn-out lead-up, because ain’t nobody got time for that, I will say that when gametime came, some shit hit the fan. Our kitchen was accidentally double-booked on our prep day causing our prep to take exceedingly longer than expected, my whip was not very accommodating to the literal fuck-ton of food we had to drive up to the wedding site, the wedding sites fridge made storing the prep feel like the most absurd game of tetris, the pizza dough had been thawed for TEN LITERAL TIMES (read: days) longer than it was supposed to be (recipe for the crowd favorite below, fresh dough included), the ceremony ended (and thus apps started) a FULL HOUR before we understood it would, and I had an embarrassingly major mental lapse in the process of making a sauce from a roux.  Bottom line, at times we felt like complete window-lickers.  Because we were.

Luckily, we were independent window-lickers, never licking the windows at the same time.  This sheer, dumb, gut-busting-in-hindsight luck allowed us to pull everything off without anyone knowing we had licked windows, and namely without the bride knowing that her “mom-moms potato salad” dressing was just a basic vinaigrette and not a rendered bacon fat vinaigrette fashioned from a roux (surprise! It’s gluten-free!).

It was easily the most stressful thing I have ever done.  Every other stressful thing I have tackled in life came with the knowledge that, no matter how many windows I licked, I could do it again.  I could take a practical again, an exam again, there’d be other opportunities to window-lick-lessly succeed. A persons wedding leaves you with a singular chance for YAS-KWEEN-victory or wrenching, lifelong-stomach-turning failure.  The emotional dump that came with releasing the months of built up anxiety I had accumulated around this event was one of the singular most bizarre feelings of my life (so bizarre, in fact, that in my delirium I thought that it was worthwhile to regale Shane with the entire plot and conclusion of Baby Boom starring Diane Keaton and her three inch 80’s power suit waist).  Getting home and into bed felt like nothing short of being flung from a trebuchet, sailing through the air into a FIFTEEN HOUR sleep.

Like any stable human, I’m in talks with people about doing it again.  YOLO FREAKS.

Bitten

Table & Oven

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Copain

Pickles

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Peach Pizza

Shane Pizza

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Roasted Veg

Pork

Table

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Table - wine

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Campfire

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Meanwhile, back in the world of THIS IS A RECIPE BLOG, GIMME SOMETHING TO MAKE HOMESLICE: a flatbread that WON’T QUIT.

[recipe id=”451″]

Photo Credit:  A few MFC, but most Miranda Lee Morgan.